Back in June we covered how the Finnish startup Kippt had been accepted into Y-Combinator. The founders are back in Finland for a quick visit and we decided to have a chat with Jori Lallo about the impact Y-Combinator has had on them. Y-Combinator has been ranked the best startup accelerator in the world by Forbes and there are surely others as well.
The reason is quite simple. The accelerator has produced some of the most valuable internet startups in less than 10 years. Since the founding of the program in 2005, companies such as Airbnb and Dropbox have graduated, not to mention Reddit whose co-founder Steve Huffman spoke at Arctic15 last year.
Karri Saarinen and Jori Lallo were the first Finnish company to get into Y-Combinator and despite them both having worked in Y-Combinator backed startups, the pace of things surprised them. Below is our brief interview with Jori Lallo.
ArcticStartup (AS): How has the experience in YC been so far?
Jori Lallo (JL): It's been great. Before our own batch we had both worked for YC backed companies and knew what we were getting into but the amount of work came as a surprise: demo day is closing fast and it really pushes you. Also seeing the progress of other companies in your batch makes you work harder.
AS: In what ways has YC helped you develop Kippt and what could other expect from a similar experience?
JL: The most significant benefit is the advice that you get from the partners and also from your batchmates. They are really smart people with years of practical experience and it really shows. You're usually not the first one with your problems so it's likely that somebody has already solved it, or founded a company to solve it.
In the end it's really up to you how you benefit from YC as the program format itself is pretty loose.
AS: You're pushing Kippt heavily into the social space, can we expect to see you move more thoroughly towards curation?
JL: We want Kippt to be the best place to save and share useful resources. As people are saving things for themselves it's usually tells that the resource is valuable and curation comes as a side product.
We're now working on features which will make it easier to tap into other user's knowledge. It's a slow process as many use Kippt privately and we want to provide the best tools for our community.
AS: What do you expect to do after YC ends, stay in the Valley or migrate back to Finland?
JL: We haven't made a decision yet, but it's clear that moving Kippt to US would help in multiple ways. Now we're sticking to YC's advice and concentrating on building the product and talking to users.
Jori Lallo and Karri Saarinen will also be present on Thursday at the Startup Helsinki meetup in Dubrvonik, starting at 6pm.